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What is AMD freesync? The three tiers explained

When searching for a new monitor, a flood of never-before seen technical terms can drown the joy of shopping. To help you with your decisions, and to get a better understanding about your potential new equipment, we will explain the different tiers of the AMD FreeSync feature.


What is AMD FreeSync?

AMD FreeSync is a technology for LCD displays that syncs the monitor’s refresh rate (the number of times it updates with new images each second) to the frame rate of your graphics card (the number of times your GPU redraws the screen every second). This feature is available for graphics cards from the manufacturer AMD. For those with a graphics card from Nvidia, a monitor with G-Sync is the best option.

FreeSync provides a dynamic refresh rate that adjusts to your PC’s hardware and is supported by both, HDMI and DisplayPort as connections. It eliminates visual artefacts such as screen tearing, stuttering and video playback by letting the monitor “communicate” with the GPU.

Let’s say you’re just looking at your desktop. Your monitor is constantly refreshing, showing 60 new images each second (which means a refresh rate of 60Hz). Everything looks great. But if you switch to your favourite game, your GPU sends more or fewer than 60 frames per second which your monitor cannot handle. Screen tearing occurs, for example, if your GPU renders a new frame and sends the image to your monitor before it finished showing the last one. Therefore, your display tries to show multiple frames at once. This results into a distortion with a horizontal line appearing, where the upper section of your screen shows a different frame as the bottom, because they are out of sync.

If your GPU only sends 59 frames per second, your monitor will show the last picture twice. This leads to a small stutter or lag.

FreeSync tier

To eliminate screen tearing, low latency, and stuttering, FreeSync comes into play. The GPU constantly sends the right number of images for the monitor to process. All three tiers of FreeSync ensure your gameplay becomes cleaner and far more enjoyable. The basic level accomplishes just that: low latency and no more screen tearing or other problems on your screen.


FreeSync Premium tier

The FreeSync Premium tier is used in higher-performance monitors, as the feature requires a refresh rate of at least 120Hz. With Full-HD, FreeSync Premium also operates at a higher resolution than the standard FreeSync.

Additionally, the Premium feature comes with low frame rate compensation (LFC). This means that when your game’s frame rate drops below the monitor’s lowest supported refresh rate, it automatically displays frames multiple times to prevent stuttering.

If you’re searching for a model with a FreeSync Premium feature, the AOC 24G2AE/BK would be a perfect fit. It comes with a refresh rate of 144Hz, an IPS-panel with 1920x1080 resolution and a response time (MPRT) of only 1 ms. This combination guarantees smooth, crystal-clear and high-resolution images in any genre of video games without visual artefacts. For those who are passionate about gaming, the Premium tier is a great choice.

FreeSync Premium Pro tier

The FreeSync Premium Pro tier goes one step further. While it comes with all the benefits that the Premium level supports, it has an additional exclusive upgrade: FreeSync Premium Pro works with High Dynamic Range (HDR). This technology enables a monitor to show more nuances of colours and contrast, creating more life-like pictures.

An example of a top tier monitor with FreeSync Premium is the AOC AG273QZ. This piece comes with DisplayHDR™ 400, QHD resolution, a 240 Hz refresh rate and 0.5 ms response time. For casual gamers who play on an average PC, this monitor could be overkill. But for serious competitive players or fans of cinematic masterpieces, the AG273QZ can elevate the gamers’ performance to a whole new level.

FreeSync

Low latency
Tear free

FreeSync Premium

Low latency
Tear free
LFC
At least 120 Hz at minimum FHD resolution

FreeSync Premium Pro

Low latency
Tear free
LFC
At least 120 Hz at minimum FHD resolution
HDR hardware support
Wide colour gamut
Broad contrast spectrum

When selecting your new monitor, you need to consider the power of your GPU and also what kind of gaming you prefer. Every tier of FreeSync creates a flawless gaming experience with smooth visuals and no more issues on the screen. FreeSync Premium is more powerful and works with a higher resolution, a faster refresh rate, and the LFC keeps the image smooth at all times. FreeSync Premium Pro takes all benefits from the previous tiers while also running with HDR, creating the most life-like pictures with the brightest colours and contrasts possible. No more screen tearing, stuttering or any visual artefacts – only clean images are waiting for you!

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